Characteristics of Rang Tree (Shorea siamensis) in the Wild

Shorea siamensis
Rang or Balau (Shorea siamensis) is a species of tree in the family Dipterocarpaceae native to Southeast Asia. This tree produces valuable resin and wood.

In Cambodia, this tree is known as Khmer or Reang Phnom and is most commonly seen near pagodas and Buddhist temples. According to the legend of one of the incarnations, Buddha was born under the Shorea siamensis tree and therefore has a strong symbolic connection to Cambodian Buddhist culture. The leaves of this tree are also used in traditional Cambodian medicine.

Shorea siamensis has been classified as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN Redlist.

 

Characteristics of Rang Leaf

Shorea siamensis Leaf
Source: phargarden.com/Sudarat Homhual

The leaves are ovate, about 12 × 9 cm in diameter with a pointed apex.

 

Characteristics of Rang Flower

Shorea siamensis Flower
Source: inaturalist.org/maikaew

The flowers have six petals, yellow on the outside and red on the inside, with many stamens.

 

Characteristics of Rang Fruit

Shorea siamensis Fruit
Source: phargarden.com/Sudarat Homhual

The fruit is round, has long wings, and is brown when ripe.

 

Characteristics of Rang Tree

Shorea siamensis Tree
Source: phargarden.com/Sudarat Homhual

Rang grows as a medium-sized tree with a height of up to 30 meters and a trunk diameter of up to 80 cm. The stems are free of branches up to a height of 15 meters.

Shorea siamensis is found in dry dipterocarp forests on poor, rocky, or limestone soils with an acidic to neutral pH at an altitude of 0-1,000 m asl. This tree prefers a tropical monsoon climate with an average annual rainfall of 1,250-2,000 mm, with a distinct rainy season and a dry season of up to 6 months. Mature trees are very tough and can withstand long periods of drought.

The heartwood is yellowish-brown and turns red-brown or dark brown. The wood is very valuable, hard, heavy, strong, and durable, medium to coarse in texture.

Shorea siamensis wood is used for heavy construction, used primarily for making luxury furniture and long-term construction. This wood is also considered the best wood for making wooden floors.

 

How to Cultivate Rang Trees

This tree is cultivated from seeds sown as soon as possible. The seeds do not require pretreatment, but it is recommended to soak the seeds for 12 hours before sowing.

The finished soaking seeds are then sown in the nursery, which is covered with a mixture of sand and soil (1:1). Seed germination is usually quite good and relatively fast. About two weeks after germination, when the seedlings are 5-6 cm tall, they are accommodated in individual containers measuring about 25×25 cm with good drainage holes in the bottom. Then, the seedlings are placed in 50-60% sun and watered twice a day.

Seedlings that have reached a height of 30 cm or more can be placed in full sun for one month before planting in the plantation.

 

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